In 1987, the draft lottery got the Spurs David Robinson. In 1997, it was Tim Duncan. Now another generational big man is coming to San Antonio.
Wembanyama stayed up until after 2 a.m. to learn his eventual NBA home. The Spurs haven’t officially selected the French teenager, but judging by the reaction of owner Peter J. Holt, they’re taking Wemby.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Wembanyama is “not only the greatest draft prospect in the history of the NBA, he might be the greatest prospect in the history of team sports.”
As a 19-year-old, he’s averaging 21.6 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.1 blocks for his French club, Metropolitans 92.
He’s also 7-foot-5, with ball-handling skills and the ability to shoot from deep, although he’s been a little three-point-happy this season while shooting 28.3%. Of course, when he misses a step back three, he has the athleticism to tip dunk his own miss.
Three teams tanked hard all year for their best shot at the top pick, with a fourth team, the Portland Trail Blazers, joining the tankathon with a 5-19 record after the All-Star break.
Detroit was the big loser, dropping to the fifth pick in the draft despite having the league’s worst record.
Charlotte moved up to the No. 2 pick, while Portland is picking third. Houston rounds out the top four.
Dallas tanked at the end of the season, receiving a $750K fine. But they’ll likely pay it gladly, since their No. 10 draft position held — and the pick they owe to the Knicks from the Kristaps Porzingis trade was protected 1-10. The Mavs keep their pick, a bargain at three-quarters of a million dollars.
Scoot Henderson of G League Ignite was the consensus No. 2 pick, but Charlotte may pass on him due to the presence of LaMelo Ball. The 6-foot-2 point guard with a 6-foot-9 wingspan signed with the NBA’s flagship G-League team at age 17.
Last year he averaged 16.5 points and 6.5 assists, a season after becoming the youngest professional basketball player in American history.
The other top-3 projected pick is Brandon Miller of Alabama, a controversial prospect due to his involvement in a murder case.
Clearly, the huge winners were the Spurs and coach Gregg Popovich. The NBA’s winningest coach is ready to add to his totals after landing potentially his third generational center.
Félicitations, Coach Pop! Wembanyama is going to love your wine collection.